What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Matargashti?’
Chances are that most of you would visualize Ranbir and Deepika dancing in exotic locations. The name ‘Matargashti’ itself speaks a lot, it simply means having ‘fun’ with friends and family. Staying true to the meaning of the word, Raipur Muncipal Corporation has started an initiative to provide nothing but ‘fun’ to the citizens. Introducing Matargashti Raipur (khuli sadak pe initiative) – the most exciting and innovative format which started early December.
I really don’t remember the last time I saw the sunrise. And I can bet the same for majority of youngsters. But thanks to RMC, the morning routine is changing for the city. Matagashti is a weekly event, held every Sunday from 6 am to 8.30 am with a plethora of fun and health activities.
When I was first offered to cover the event for The Broken Scooter Chhattisgarh, my first reaction was pure disbelief simply because of the timings! Who gets up @5:30 am? But after dragging myself to Marine drive on the first Sunday, I did not regret a moment spent there. The vibrant mass of Raipur had come alive.
Reaching on time I was surprised to see the huge and energetic crowd. Raipur, you never cease to amaze me. I was surprised because I haven’t seen the people of our city gathering at one place unless it is to attend any celebrity concert. The chilly and foggy mornings of December by the side of our very own ‘Marine Drive’ at Telibandha lake added to the appeal of the event. With the dawn of an early morn and the rays of light from the horizon added a golden glow to the water. I really don’t remember when was the last I saw Raipur from this lens.
Matargashti Raipur has given us a chance to use our public spaces as they are supposed to be with varied activities for every single person. I have seen people of every age from senior citizens to children, youth and middle aged having fun at Matargashti. A group of elderly from the Laughter Club added the much wanted background sound with eruptions of laughter! Forgetting all about the worries of life. Children played different outdoor games like badminton, football, basketball among many others. Outdoor games was set up by Decathlon and was enjoyed by everyone!
And let’s not forget the Radio stations of Raipur organizing different fun activities every week which add to the charm and engage people. There is maze running too. Different schools and colleges have been performing nukkad natak to raise awareness about social issues existing in our society.
You can even see people walking around the pathway just soaking in the beauty of the lake. Another activity which excites the people of all ages is Zumba. The crowd grooves to the beats of the music and is sure to pump up anyone.
Mrityunjay yoga was another activity which saw a huge turnout and popularity. Yoga is definitely the morning dose of both energy and spirituality. It really is a wonderful feeling to be aware of one’s body and soul. It was good to see that even small children participating in it with the energy same as the elders.
Our mayor Mr. Pramod Dubey was spotted with his group cycling around like he is one us. Yes! He rides to the venue every Sunday from his residence on cycle. Different cycling clubs also participated helping spread awareness about the advantages of commuting via cycle and other eco friendly options.
Different stalls of healthy juices have also sprouted up providing the much needed nutrition. And what I enjoy most is the Chai ki Chuski. I am a born ‘Chaivanistic'(love for chaii) and there is nothing better than a piping hot sip of tea after an intense workout. These 2 hours of Matargashti on a ‘Khuli Sadak’ of marine drive is surely a lifetime experience. I am falling in love with the city all over again.
To all those who are reading this, I strongly recommend it’s time to bring out the fitness shoes and spend your Sunday making this city better. Becoming a better version of yourself by pursuing fitness and connecting with people around you is the sole aim of the event. Matargashti Raipur will make you want to come back for more. Take a break from mundane days at work and come down to Telibandha on 8th January to rejuvenate yourself.
Matargashti also acts the ultimate stress buster for you as they say – “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”.
The fun continues at Matargashti Raipur!
Penned by a proud Raipurian – Aakash Awasthy
Pictures by – Pixel (IIM Raipur’s Photography Club) & Aakash Awasthy